Developers Scale Back Apartments in North Bethesda Gateway Project

Developers Scale Back Apartments in North Bethesda Gateway Project

Citing ‘market forces,’ plans include adding three-bedroom units at East Village

| Published:
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Rendering via Foulger-Pratt

Developers of a 5-acre North Bethesda property have submitted altered plans to the county Planning Board, reducing the number of total apartments to incorporate about three dozen three-bedroom units.

The Planning Board in 2016 approved plans for 614 residential units and up to 34,000 square feet of retail use to be built in two phases at the intersection of Nicholson Lane and Huff Court. Each phase was planned to yield a mixed-use building with ground-floor retail, separated by a walkway and plaza.

The developers, Potomac-based Foulger-Pratt and partner ProMark Real Estate of Rockville, have proposed decreasing the number of residences to 567 to add 38 three-bedroom apartment units and increasing the percentage of two-bedroom units at the project called East Village.

The site previously housed medical and laboratory facilities and a surface parking lot.

Most new multi-family developments in Montgomery County offer one- and two-bedroom floor plans, and county leaders have said there needs to be more variety in apartment floor plans to accommodate a wide range of housing needs.

“These alterations to the development program are necessary to respond to market forces, allow for an economically viable project and advance the vision of the White Flint Sector Plan,” according to Planning Department documents, referring to the master plan passed in 2011 that guides development.

A date for Planning Board consideration has not been set.

Another change to the proposed project is moving parking above ground and reducing the number of provided parking spaces from 701 to 529, according to Planning Department documents. The changes are “in response to unforeseen construction and material costs,” according to project plans.

The project is still intended to be completed in two phases with similar designs – one a doughnut-shaped building and the other an L-shaped structure.

The East Village project is part of the larger North Bethesda Gateway, an area planned for 1 million square feet of retail, office and hotel space and more than 660,000 square feet of residential development.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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